Movie Mondays ~ Monday, November 11, 2019

Movie Mondays ~ Monday, November 11, 2019


This arrives a day later than I would have liked but I hope you’ll give it a perusal. This week’s film review is a documentary outside my usual realm of interest, entertainment. If any of you out there have ever been enticed, intrigued or persuaded to explore implementing minimalism into your life, you’ll definitely want to read this movie review. If the rest of you are like me and growing weary of being surrounded by stuff and more stuff in your underused space that seems to serve more as a storage unit than a sanctuary, please continue. And as always, thanks for reading. ~ Chris K.


FILMS VIEWED WEEK OF 11/04/2019 – 11/10/2019

 *click on the photo to enlarge



105. Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things

Documentary (2015)
Features Dan Harris, Ryan Nicodemus, Joshua Fields Milburn, Frank Mascia, Jay Austin, Graham Hill


I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started watching this documentary that sets out to explain what the concept of minimalism is about for those who adopt it for their lifestyle. We are introduced to a number of people across the country and various trades who have either a perspective to share as a user of this philosophy or a contributing vendor to help them get there, including tiny house designers, architects even an apparel minimizer, someone who helps others narrow their clothing supply to a smaller number of items and configure the many ways they can create completely different outfits with a reduced amount of apparel.

As I understood it from the film, minimalism at its root definition is a lifestyle of using all that you have including the space and items and removing all other extraneous items to leave a smaller footprint on the planet and its resources. Downsizing is certainly an offshoot of it, but minimalism goes to the bare bones of making rooms multi-functional and eliminating that excess space and stuff you don’t have a need or function for, so it is downsizing to the nth degree, I suppose. Plus, downsizing can just mean someone going from a home to a condo, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that condo isn’t still more room than they need. Minimalism is all about eliminating the excess.

The different people we meet in this documentary share their unique reasons for minimalism calling to them to give it a try — for some, it’s due to lack of space and more practical reasons; for others, it has more to do with trying to address emotional frustration, weariness and depression in some cases by creating cleaner, clearer, less cluttered surroundings and in effect, building a calm, peaceful place to ease whatever they’re feeling due to loss, heartbreak or whatever the scar.

I liked hearing from the space experts especially who highlighted some significant research that suggests we really don’t use the bulk of the space we have in most cases and basic studies show people’s paths in their home and where they spend the most time which only supports that theory. So if you have all of this space and you’re not using it anyway, you’re either (A) paying for space you really don’t need or (B) probably filling up that extra space with more stuff hoping to fill whatever void or spark some missing joy in your life. I definitely related to that, both in the areas less traveled angle and the purchase of stuff just because, without any real reason. I think there are a lot of people who if they are willing to watch this film and pay attention could have a lightbulb moment, so I encourage you to give it a shot if any of this may sound like you, too.

It did seem like everybody had a book to hawk in the film, so while the overall message, I like, and I enjoyed meeting the different people introduced, there was a lot of soft selling going on. I also wasn’t a big fan of a duo called “The Minimalists” who go around the country doing seminars and are the main drivers of the film’s message — they didn’t knock me out with either their insight or presentation, but there were plenty of other interesting stories worth sticking around for, like TV journalist Dan Harris who experienced a panic attack on live national television due to the overwhelming stress he was feeling in his life. We learn how a more minimalist approach in his daily living has helped him tremendously.

One quote that really stuck with me was from architect Frank Mascia. I told myself I would remember it, so I could share here.  “We’re living our life depending on the space we’ve got rather than creating our space to fit our lives,” Mascia says. “It’s so easy to go wrong, so we’re ending up with three dining room tables in our house.”

No one needs three dining room tables. Well, maybe the Partridge Family or Brady Bunch.

Give this one a look if you are overwhelmed by life, by stuff or by trying to keep up with all of it. You may discover a route to your troubles worth exploring more after the film. I know it definitely left a lot for me to consider.

Score: 83









Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *